Dear New Parkway Lover:
It’s the last week of the shortest month of the year and we’ve got a host of what we hope will be enticing options to go along with free parking, a full bar/café, and comfy couches (find us at 474 24th Street in Oakland and online at www.thenewparkway.com). Some of the highlights are…
•Sunday will be our first Academy Awards party, and we’ll have the big show, yummy food, special drinks, a photo booth, and some live entertainment. Doors open at 4 for the 5PM show. More info and advance tickets at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/319346.
•We’re thrilled to present 56 Up for our Tuesday night documentary night. These Brits certainly aren’t as cute as they were at age 7. You’ll want to see for yourself at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/338099.
•The Wall is back. After some technical difficulties forced the cancelation of a previous showing, Pink Floyd is back late night on Saturday and we expect a packed concert hall. More info at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/342188.
•We’ve got horror and more horror: first, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which perhaps means two-fisted chainsaw murder this time around (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/339174), and then, of course, John Dies in the End. Not sure if he dies from a double Texan-style chainsaw death squad, but you’ll want to be sure to have a couple of beers and a hot meat sandwich on hand, just to be ready for all eventualities. And please note that we’ll have some special Friday and Saturday night double feature pricing, so inquire at the box office about this.
•Speaking of horror, why not come check out the creepiest movie I’ve ever seen, as Blue Velvet is the week’s Parkway classic. Should teach you not to sniff glue. But if you dare, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/342653.
•And we’ve got our first real big feature film, or so it seems to me, as we open Django Unchained. The nature of second-run theaters is that there’s lots that we want but we often have to wait much longer than we’d like to get them. Django is one that we’ve been waiting on, so come join us for this Tarantino hit.
Here’s what Adam has to say about Django and our other features (with a guest appearance from Will Viharo):
We have another great week of movies to indulge in this week. Just in time for the Oscars, we have Quentin Tarantino's western 'Django Unchained' to unleash on the screen. And to counter-balance it, we have John Dies in the End for those who like movies that don't involve terrifying dogs and slavery…well at least slavery. We also have two great holdovers in the form of 'The Master' and 'Wreck-It-Ralph' so all tastes are accounted for.
Let's face it. If you are not a Tarantino fan, this is not going to be the movie that changes your mind. With Tarantino you can usually expect certain things. Revenge theme. Over-the-top cartoon violence. Witty screenplay. Good story. Fun acting. The violence can be a kicker for some people. But for those who can handle it, this movie is a real delight.
Christopher Waltz continues his great form from 'Inglorious Basterds' as a bounty hunter who uses and trains Django (an excellent Jamie Foxx) and helps him find his wife. But Leonardo Di Caprio steals the show as the 'intellectual' slave owner Calvin Candie. He is worth the price of admission alone. But this is epic stuff and one you won't want to miss on the big screen. Westerns like this don't come along every year so enjoy it while you can.
John Dies in the End
Based on the epic serialized novel by Jason Pagin (writing as David Wong), this instant cult classic from famed filmmaker Don Coscarelli - the strange but great man who gave the world "Phantasm" and "Bubba Ho-Tep" - concerns a street drug that sends its users across dimensions and back - although they are returning far less less human than when they left. It's the ultimate stoner movie - especially while sitting on a couch drinking beer, surrounding by laughing strangers! The New Parkway exists for movies like this, and vice versa. The cast of this hilarious hallucinogenic hit includes Paul Giamatti, Chase Williamson, Clancy Brown and Rob Mayes. Drug fu, monster fu, Angus Scrumm fu. Five stars.
The title could almost be a description of the director, PT Anderson. Let's face it. He is the only director that looks capable of replacing Stanley Kubrick. From 'Boogie Nights' (depressing in a highly entertaining way) to 'There Will Be Blood' (gripping from start to finish) he combines incredible acting, technical brilliance along with an amazing soundtrack to make every film he makes, a joy to behold.
Criminally ignored by the Academy for Best Picture (although it was nominated in 3 of the acting categories), this opus takes you through the creation of a new religious movement. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is exhilarating in the title role. Joaquin Phoenix is wonderful in his acting return. Drink it in, like a fine wine (available in the lobby also) and relish it.
Wreck it Ralph
After a golden era in the 90's (Lion King, Beauty & The Beast, Little Mermaid, Aladdin), Disney Animated Classics went through a rough patch when they were anything but. But Wreck-It-Ralph is a wonderful return to form. When a video-game villain gets tired of being evil, he seeks out new opportunities. It is a rare movie that can appeal to nearly everyone that watches it. But it is so good-natured and funny, that even video-game haters will find something to enjoy.
But if you like playing games, it shifts into must-see territory with tons of visual sight gags, hidden references and fun innuendos. Rich Moore, the director, is a veteran animator and writer on the Simpsons (classic episodes) and Futurama and his level of skill and creativity really shine through. If you have kids it is almost neglectful not to take them.
Adam (with some help from Will)
And as for the non-feature other stuff, here are a couple things (also from Adam and Will)…
Doc Night-- following the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old, 56 UP has had eight episodes spanning 49 years (one episode every seven years). It is almost like time lapse photography but applied to humans. And it makes for absolutely fascinating viewing. It does not move like a normal movie. Rather, it just shows the effects of time on normal people and allows you to reflect on your own life. Another worthy documentary hitting 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, this is excellent and well worth your time.
Parkway Classics-- Will the Thrill's PARKWAY CLASSICS presents BLUE VELVET (1986). David Lynch's neurotic, nightmarish neo-noir is an erotic exploration of a seemingly sleepy town's dirtiest, darkest secrets - hypnotically hip and stylishly surreal. Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rosselini, Laura Dern, and in one of his most memorable roles, Dennis Hopper. Even better with beer, though no Heineken or Pabst Blue Ribbon will be served. "NEXT!"
Baby Brigade—Monday at 4:30 and 6:30PM. Don’t let your babies come alone to the New Parkway. Go along for the ride and have yourself some beer.
2 for 1 Wednesdays—as if $6 was not cheap enough, load up the minivan and bring the whole frickin’ family for under $20.
Hope to see you at the New Parkway for this big, big week.